A godlie garden out of the which most co[m]fortable hearbs may be gathered for the health of the wounded conscience of all penitent sinners.

London, By Richard Bradock, [for]Thomas pauier, 1607.


16mo. pp. 342, [x]. A-Y⁸. Black letter. Title within woodcut border of crowned roses, text within four part woodcut border of interlacing circles with roses at centres, woodcut initials. Title page and verso of last soiled, t-p backed, chipped at upper and lower outer corners, at gutter just touching woodcut border, first and last few leaves a little dusty, occasional light waterstain, the odd thumb mark or spot. A good copy in late C19th morocco over bevelled boards, covers bordered with a double blind rule, spine with blind ruled raised bands, blind tooled in compartments, title gilt lettered, all edges gilt and gauffered. A little rubbed at extremities.

Exceptionally rare, popular Elizabethan prayer book used for daily worship with a calendar for the year at the beginning; such ephemeral and practical works have survived in very few copies. The work contains the texts in prose for the morning and evening prayers with the Litany, which is then followed by the ‘Godlie Garden’ section of prayers. “At the end of this edition, which appears to be otherwise a reprint of that of 1581, occur on three leaves “graces to be said before and after meales.” in verse. The last two leaves have the table, which should probably be also in a perfect copy of the edition of 1581, completing sign. Y.” William Carew Hazlitt ‘Bibliography of Early English Literature: Collections and notes, 1867-1876.’

“The prayer book itself belongs to the reform movement instigated by English Protestants from 1530 through the reign of Edward VI. Influenced primarily by Continental Lutherans, reformers translated sermons, commentaries, devotional writings, and of course the Bible, as well as producing their own texts. Before and after Thomas Cranmer’s undertaking to create a public English Liturgy in the 1545 Litany and the 1548 and 1552 Books of Common Prayer, other writers turned to the production of liturgies designed for household or private use. Taking as their models either the devotional miscellany made popular in the previous century by adherents of the reform-minded ‘devotio moderna’ movement or the ubiquitous books of hours that pious layfolk had been using since the fourteenth century, English writers composed vernacular devotional texts suitable for Protestants. … As a composite text, it showcases the ways in which Protestants understood themselves to be reforming the true church rather than creating a new church. Its organisation into morning and evening prayers rejects the eight-fold division of the books of hours but aligns itself both with the implicit rule of the ‘devotio moderna and the explicit liturgy of the Book of Common Prayer.” Garrett A. Sullivan ‘The Encyclopedia of English Renaissance Literature.’

This is an exceptionally rare edition of an exceptionally rare work; ESTC records only one other copy of this edition, at the Folger Shakespeare library. We have located no copy at auction of this or any other edition of the Godlie Garden. Copies of any edition of this work are also exceptionally rare. ESTC lists thirteen editions between 1569 and 1640, all 16mos. all of which are recorded in single copies only, but for the first of 1569, which is recorded at two locations.

ESTC S120144. STC 11559


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